The Meaning of Marriage

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What really is the meaning of marriage?

It is a question that is contemplated by so many and a question that breeds so many different answers. While finding the one whom your soul loves and getting engaged is so exciting, it is also so important to have a solid understanding of you and your partner’s views on marriage.

Future couples to wed, may have a solid idea but we thought it would be great to get input on the subject from our former sweet couples who have been living the married life. These couples come from all different backgrounds, each of their answers unique and definitely worth reading.

What were your views on marriage growing up?                                                    

:: The Guenther’s ::                                                                                            

Lynne – “My views were not on marriage as much as weddings and husbands and dresses and cakes and all the things young girls find dreamy. As I did well at school, I was conditioned that for a woman, marriage was a career killer and you meant less as a woman if married. I actually was a little anti-commitment in my late teens and early twenties… College is full of people telling you how to believe and I fell for it the way I think most young women do. Because, marriage is not weakness, it’s meekness, and there a difference.”

Shawn – “Growing up I didn’t have a lot of great examples of marriage. My parents fought rabidly, as did most of the neighborhood couples. I think ultimately my view of marriage was that it was a test of wills to see who could out-sacrifice the other person.”

Shawn and Lynne Guenther's Wedding Reception at Fairy Tale Manor

How did you decide you were ready for marriage? 

:: The Granda’s ::

Kelsey – “I don’t know if anyone’s every really ready for marriage.  Because there’s absolutely no way of knowing what you’re getting into until you’re in it!   However, I felt like Seth and I reached the point that we knew we were better together than apart.  We began to think about the other’s needs above our own.  We started picturing our life in 10, 20, 30 years and weren’t able to see it without each other.  We started asking God to shape our hearts for something only He could.  I think that’s when we knew we were “ready” because we started imagining the life God designed for each of us and just knew it had to include the other forever.”

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How has your view of marriage changed since saying ‘I Do’? 

:: The Siekierski’s ::

Hillary – “Scott is my best friend and that didn’t change when we said, ‘I do’. We also lived together before we got married so we already had the foundation set for a lot of things. If anything, I know that we will always have each-others backs. We were always a team before but we are more so now. I like hearing him call me his wife. That’s pretty cool.”

Scott – I think we were on the same page when we got married, and have remained on the same page since then.  The only thing that has changed is that we have had more life experiences together so our bond has grown deeper.”

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Advice for couples thinking about marriage from our sweet former brides & grooms

:: The Belknap’s :: “Get pre-marriage counseling! Haha! Having tools to navigate a new marriage is priceless, even if you’ve been together a long time. Learn to laugh about your differences, life is better with laughter.”

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:: The Granda’s :: “Pray about it. Pray alone about it. Pray together about it. Have the people that you love and trust the most pray about it. Marriage shouldn’t be something you go into and then leave because all of a sudden it’s harder than you thought.  It’s a covenant. Marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s also the hardest. To go to sleep everyday knowing you could’ve thought about yourself less and loved him more is hard. But it’s worth it because it’s grace incarnate and I think if someone’s thinking about marriage they should recognize that it’s a little bit of everything.”

:: The Guenther’s :: “To couples contemplating marriage I would say a few things. First: put away all that society, family, or friends have taught you about marriage. Your relationship is unique and requires that you both are able to soberly assess your heart from your body. Second: no prenuptial, no backup plan, and no side bets. If you walk down the aisle you are committing wholly and completely with no “plan B.” Lastly: Love is a proper noun. It is its own entity, the living Spirit of God, and He requires attention, loyalty, and respect. No fight, no distance, no pain can overshadow Love if you show proper reverence for it. Spend the remainder of your days trying to act solely from a place of Love. If you are at all squeamish about that commitment you likely have some growing left to do before considering such a permanent action.”

“My husband and I had been married a couple of years and together for 4 years when people started asking if there was some secret to why we rarely fought. I didn’t know what we were doing right until a little over a year ago when we started to break down the biblical doctrine of marriage. The bible states men desire respect and women love, even more important both find it hard to give the other what they need if they feel they aren’t getting the love and respect they want. Solution: as soon as you realize your hubby doesn’t feel respected, fix it with respect and you’ll get love. Likewise, if your wife feels unloved, love her first and you’ll get your respect.  Who goes first, it’s an honor, so rush to it. Choose happiness and let all the little stuff go. Just love and respect each other, it’s that simple.”

So whether you’re already married or just beginning to toss around the idea of getting married, we hope you find these words of advice useful in your relationship. Choosing the right person to marry can be the single most important thing you do in your life. And when you do decide to make the lifelong commitment to each other, we hope you’ll give us a call to help you create the first chapter in your happily ever after.

:: Photo Credits (from top to bottom) ::

Kelly Gesick Photography

June Bug Company

Apple Guy of Dallas

 Nicholas Leitzinger Photography

Event Planning Tips for 2014

As I reflect back on 2013, I can’t help but think ‘What a year it has been’.  I smile and recall on my many blessings… my crazy, amazing family and friends, my incredible husband, my deepening relationship with God, becoming pregnant after years of trying, my wonderful housekeeper (yes, I am SO grateful she came into our lives this year), all of my awesome clients, and the lessons I’ve learned that have helped me become the woman, wife, friend, planner I am today.   Some of these lessons I’ve learned over the years, but they have continued to present themselves as sort of a reminder to either keep doing what I’m doing or make a change and move on.

With my job, I have the privilege to impart many lessons on those around me to help make their lives easier.  Especially when it comes to the planning and execution of their very special occasion.  Here are a few lessons I hope that you will take with you into 2014.  Whether you’re a bride/groom-to-be, a parent, a member of the wedding party, a family member or friend…this is for you.

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  • Hire the RIGHT vendors for your event.  Bringing in the right professionals will make your life and party so much better than you can even imagine.  Do your research and don’t just hire the first person you come across as you might regret it later.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to solidify plans or make your DIY projects.  Planning and projects take time to do correctly.  Understand that each vendor has their own communication format and turnaround time to get things on their end accomplished.
  • Trust that everything will work out how it is supposed to…especially if you have been doing your due diligence and you have the right vendor team in place.
  • Be flexible when you can.  The more you try to control every little aspect, the more stress and upset you will give yourself and the less you will actually enjoy your event.
  • Plan, plan, plan, but be open to things changing that are out of your control at the last minute.  It will probably end up better than you planned.
  • Know your role within the event….this has two parts to it.
    1. If you’re the host of an event or a couple to be married…this is YOUR soiree. If there are certain aspects to your event that are really important to you, but are giving you concern because family or friends have constantly expressed their dislike in your choice…guess what?   This is YOUR day and you should be able to have what you want.  Now, you may need to make a few tweaks and adjustments to make it comfortable for your guests.  My philosophy is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” and you should have your way on your day.
    2. If you’re the parent, friend or family member who is disagreeing with certain elements of the hosts/couple’s decisions.  Sorry, but this is NOT your soiree. Your intentions may be only to help and it’s okay to make suggestions.  By all means, if you see something that’s not right, say something.  But then, back off.  Don’t take it personal if they don’t listen.  This is THEIR day and they deserve to have the love and support of their family and friends.  Not the stress of constant nagging, bullying, or “I told you so’s”.  It’s ok not to agree with their every move.  Just put it in perspective…in the grand scheme of things, is it really that important?  Chances are, it’s not.  They are the ones that have to live with their decisions.  You don’t want to be the one thing they feel regret, sadness or even anger toward when they look back on their day.  They need your support during this time more than anything else.  Be proactive and help come up with creative solutions in order to give them what they want.  Or respect their decision if they do not want any help.

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No one event or one client is the same as the next.  That’s one of the many things I love about what I do.  To help them achieve their dream wedding or event and ensure that the above tips are followed is so special.

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Hopefully, these are lessons you will carry with you when planning or helping to plan your next event.  Don’t be shy to share them with those around you for a much more seamless planning experience.  Have any more tips for successful planing, please feel free to leave a comment and share them!

Wishing you all the love, support, success and joy for 2014!

:: Photo Credits ::     Top Left :: Alex Ham Photography     Top Right :: Amy Karp Photography    Middle Left :: Sam Smead Photography                      Middle Right :: Wisner Photo     Bottom Left :: Autumn Light Photography     Bottom Left :: Nicholas Leitzinger Photography